Now that a man is in a relationship, he may have the need for it to end and/or want to get as far away from his partner as he can. This is not to say that that he won’t like or even love her; it is due to the fact that he will feel trapped.
When he first started spending time with her, however, he may have been fine. If this was the case, he will have been in one place very early on and now he will be in a very different place.
Naturally, his emotional experience would have changed as time has passed; this is part of the transitory nature of life. But, there is a big difference between him feeling different as time passes and being in a position where he is repelled by his partner.
If he no longer wants to be around her and/or have her in his life, he will want to keep his distance and perhaps cut his ties with her. Most, if not all, of the positive feelings that were attached to her before, will have gone or been pushed aside.
So, when he is around her, he is going to experience a fair amount of emotional pressure and this is why he will have the need to get away from her. At a deeper level, he will feel as though his very survival is at risk.
This is not to say that he will have thoughts that are in alignment with how he feels as his thinking brain could be offline. Due to how he feels, he will just feel compelled to create space between himself and his partner.
A Massive Relief
Once this has taken place, he could find that he is able to settle down; that is, of course, if his partner doesn’t message or call him. If she does, he could find that he soon ends up feeling overwhelmed.
To handle this, and this could happen when he is with her, he could lose touch with how he feels. This will mean that he will lose touch with his body and his attention will primarily be in his head.
When this happens, he may find that he is able to be in her company and that he doesn’t have the need to get away from her. The trouble with this is that it will mean that he is not emotionally present.
Therefore, he will physically be there but he won’t emotionally be there. His partner will then have the desire to emotionally connect to him but she won’t be able to make this connection.
If he doesn’t end up calling it a day, his partner could get to the point where she has had enough and pulls the plug, so to speak. If the former takes place, it might only be a matter of time before he ends up in the same position.
There is also the chance that this is something that he has experienced at least once before. The key will be for him to get to the point in his own evolution where he can see that he is the common dominator and that, unless he changes, he won’t be able to experience intimacy.
He could struggle to understand why he feels so uncomfortable when he gets close to a woman; after all, it is unlikely that she would cause his life to come to an end. As an adult, he will have the ability to stand up for himself and to say no if he doesn’t want to do something; he won’t be a defenceless child.
Considering this, there is no reason why he should feel trapped and smothered when he gets close to a woman who is both mentally and emotionally healthy. He should be able to be in his body, to feel his feelings and to feel at ease in her company.
What is going on?
What this can show is that when he gets close to a woman, he is unconsciously projecting his mother onto her. He is then not seeing the woman for who she is, he is seeing his mother and experiencing the feelings and the sensations that he experienced in her company.
This is likely to show that his mother lacked the ability to attune to his needs and either gave him attention when he didn’t need it or abandoned him. By having these experiences, it would have caused him to associate closeness with being annihilated, and, in comparison, to have a milder fear of being abandoned.
A Traumatic Time
At this stage of his life, and perhaps to this very day, she may have seen him as an extension of her as opposed to a separate being. Her version of Kahlil Gibran's poem On Children might have been: “They come through you and from you, and they are with you and they belong to you.”
As a result of this, he would have been used to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. Thanks to this, it would have been normal for his needs to be overlooked – he may have been punished, disapproved of and/or abandoned if he expressed his needs - and for him to regularly feel smothered and trapped by her presence.
Not having his developmental needs met would have been painful and receiving the wrong type of attention would have also been painful. As he was in a boundaryless state and probably couldn’t talk at this stage of his life, he needed his mother to be in tune with his needs in order to prevent him from being overwhelmed.
But, as she wasn’t in tune with him, she may have also lacked the ability to empathise, the only way for him to deal with the pain that he was in would have been to disconnect from his body. This wouldn’t have stopped what was going on but it would have stopped him from being aware of it.
The Past Repeats Itself
What took place will be over but his mind and body will carry the trauma that he experienced all those years ago. Just like then, disconnecting from himself will be a way for him to keep his intense feelings at bay.
During his early years, getting away from his mother wouldn’t have been an option; it would have been an option later on in his development. If, then, he primarily deals with feeling overwhelmed by shutting down and not escaping, this will be why.
If a man can relate to this and e is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.